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Wraith - Absolute Power Award winner

Absolute Power
by Gary Hernandez at 15 September 2019, 2:59 PM

Observation: When folks like Tom Petty sing about Indiana, they never say anything about the Blackened Thrash Metal scene. Baffling. I’ll tell you this, though, since the release of “Heed the Warning” in 2018, and now “Absolute Power” in August, 2019,  by speed trio WRAITH, songwriters penning happy little songs about the American Mid-West are going to have to start inking in some acknowledgement to the blackened scourge in their midst. WRAITH delivers twenty eight minutes of blistering thrash across ten tracks on “Absolute Power.” This band is like a sharknado set lose on a Florida trailer park—the carnage is utterly devastating and thoroughly entertaining.

From the buttery delicious fire of “Devil’s Hour” to the savage cover of “Death Comes Ripping” by the MISFITS, this album will light up your adrenal medulla like napalm on gasoline. I don’t know what I love most about this album: Matt Sokol’s red hot riffage, Mike Szymedera’s abusive drumming, or Chris Petkus’ punishing bass lines. Even the lyrics and vocal delivery are mind-numbing. Take the final lines of “Meaningless Planet” that Sokol belts out as the song burns a final sonic hole in your soul: “I find peace amongst the stars at night / Surrounded by black my soul ignites / There is no heaven, just freedom at rest / This meaningless planet no longer a nest.” If there is metal poetry, that’s it, my friend. Gut wrenching and blood pounding all at once.

Standout tracks include tracks one through nine. Regrets include none. My absolute favs are “Devil’s Hour,” “Meaningless Planet,” “War of Aggression,” “The Hunt,” and “Eyes of the Sacred Ram” (the last 30 seconds of this song are pure mosh-inducing metal mana). I should also give a special call out to one Jason Schultz who contributes searing guitar solos on “Meaningless Planet,” “The Curse,” and “War of Aggression.” And I have to say some of my most favorite moments on this album are when all the strings fall silent and Szymedera just murders his kit. I also love when Petkus cuts his leash and leaps out in front with these awesome bass lines that are so sloppy you can hear the strings slapping.

In summary, “Absolute Power” is molten Blackened Thrash Metal at its finest. The one down side to the album is its brevity. I could have used another ten minutes of epinephrine laced tracks, but I’ll take what I can get. And the one down side to the band is the fact that there are about 1,700 bands with the same name. I could say something campy here like, “there can only be one,” or “may the most savage survive,” but us metal heads are a tribal bunch and we just want to see metal thrive. So I hope all the WRAITHs out there succeed, but this one, you know the one from Indiana where that basketball team and that chick who broke Tom Petty’s heart are from, that WRAITH I’m really hoping will devour the planet.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Devil's Hour
2. Acid Mass
3. Meaningless Planet
4. The Curse
5. War of Aggression
6. At the Stake
7. The Hunt
8. Eyes of the Sacred Ram
9. Absolute Power
10. Death Comes Ripping (The Misfits cover)
Matt Sokol - Guitars, vocals
Chris Petkus - Bass
Mike Szymendera - Drums 
Record Label: Independent


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